Monday, October 17, 2011

The Question of Kosher Meat

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Philip Schein's Story:
The Question of Kosher Meat

"...I grew up eating meat, not protesting it. I am Jewish and I was always told that kosher meat was humane. I was told that how we treated those beings in our power mattered greatly, that it was what defined us as human beings. It was a way of approaching daily life that made me proud to be Jewish.

Today I have conducted more than ten undercover investigations at major kosher slaughter facilities from Nebraska to Uruguay. This firsthand experience on kill floors quickly shattered any naive hopes I held out that kosher meant humane.

In South America, which supplies a large percentage of kosher beef to Israel and the United States, the standard method of kosher slaughter is the "Shackle and hoist" technique, in which cattle are chained, tripped, and restrained on the ground while their throats are cut, and then they are hoisted immediately into the air to be bled out while still conscious and struggling. In the U.S., at what was at the tie the world's single largest kosher slaughter facility, I've seen workers systematically hacking out the tracheas and esophagi of conscious and wide-eyed cattle. I've seen workers shock animals in the face with electric prods and let animals languish for minutes as the result of sloppy religious slaughter techniques. All these violations are a matter of public record now and they were widely reported on in the media. You can see the videos at These practices are not standard and certainly not required by kosher law,but I'm ashamed how many other examples I could give of egregious cruelty at kosher facilities. And even more shameful than any of these abuses is the response to them by kosher certification authorities.

I expected these violations of the Jewish principle of compassion to animals to be condemned. I also expected that the meat from these slaughterhouses would be declared unkosher, but that is not what happened. Many in the Jewish community protested, but the leadership of the kosher industry insisted and still insists that the flesh of animals who die torturous deaths - even animals dismembered while conscious- can be perfectly kosher. It's not that the situation is necessarily worse in kosher slaughterhouses than conventional slaughter facilities - the problems with cruelty at mainstream slaughterhouses are arguable worse overall. But I expected kosher production to reflect a higher ethical standard. Sadly, what I witnessed in both kosher and nonkosher facilities is that suffering and cruelty is systemic in all forms of industrialized slaughter.

And regardless of what happens at the slaughterhouse, almost all the animals killed for kosher meat re supplied by the very same cruel factory farms that supply animals for conventional slaughter..."

"...(Vegetarianism) is my protest against the conduct of the world. To be a vegetarian is to disagree - to disagree with the course of things today...starvation, cruelty - we must make a statement against these things. Vegetarianism if my statement. And I think it's a strong one."

Did you know?

The vast majority - over 95 percent - of animals are raised in factory farms and not on the old-fashioned family farms of memory.

All of the above are excerpts from the book, Veganist by Kathy Freston.
loading ...~ Photos on this blog entry from Robert Stock

This blog is not liberal or conservative. This is a Christian blog, these issues are issues of mercy and justice, issues very dear to my heart. Yes, as you will most likely agree the Father cares very much how we treat animals. I don't understand the blind eye and seemingly cold calloused hearts at times...It blows my mind...But it is also very encouraging to me to know there are others who see this cruelty for what it is and take a stand for these innocent creatures. ~Amelia

P.S. Here is a very good sermon recommendation:
Ten Shekels and a Shirt by Paris Reidhead

This is a deep sermon you may want to listen to more than once. One of the most listened-to sermons on Oh that we as Christians would be consistent.

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